Not only is the title of the episode the title of a Rod Stewart song, I feel the plot can be distilled into a gif. This gif:
This was a “workhorse” episode – it moved the characters to whatever places they need to be for the next arc of the story. The A plot was very paint-by-numbers: jilted ex-lover loses her shit and her mind and acts out while wearing her old wedding dress. It’s been done (us ladies just can’t think when there’s marryin’ to be done!!)
Jim and Barbara (and Galavan and Bruce and…) Sitting in a Tree
Gordon’s “I KNOW YOU’RE EVIL!!” bullshit from last episode has forced Galavan to accelerate his “timeline.” I assume this means more standing around looking out windows and leaving everyone alive after he cartoonishly tortures them. He’s decided to turn Barbara loose on Gordon so he can’t interfere with his plan to fuck over Bruce. This would be fine if there was any chance that Gordon COULD interfere, which he can’t, because Ben Grimm is insisting the cops actually have evidence before arresting the mayor. Even Leslie is like, “Uh, dude? Like, evidence is good?” Jim is all,
Then Barbara waltzes into the police station in a fabulous red coat, making her one of the few characters on Gotham that gets to wear any bright colors. She will only talk to Jim (OF COURSE) so he throws her in an interrogation room and shoves his tongue down her throat in front of Leslie, Ben Grimm, and Harvey. For a moment I thought that he was playing a game that the four of them had devised before he went to question Barbara. NO. NOPE. Jim kissed her as a “judgement call,” proving that this show can’t even get the basics beats of a basic plot right.
Barbara is all, “I have to show you
a trap something.” Everyone knows this is a trap, including the new members of the Redshirt Brigade. (Why did we learn all their names a few episodes ago?) Leslie tells Jim he’s a fucked up idiot for even entertaining this obvious trap bullshit but Jim is all “IT’S THE ONLY WAY!!” Only way for what? Who knows. But walking into a trap with a bunch of inept cops is what needs to be done.
Apparently Jim thinks that if they drive around enough Barbara will just start talking. When both Harvey and Ben Grimm point out that the place they’ve driven to puts them at a tactical disadvantage, Jim ignores them in hopes that Barbara will talk. They get hit by a truck instead. And even though all the cops in Gotham are following Jim and are heavily armed, they all get killed and Barbara captures Jim.
How do they have so many god damned cops in this city? I thought they all died with Jerome. They didn’t. Then like 100 of them died last week after the Robert Smiths jumped through the windows and started shooting. Now they lost another 50. Are the only people who live in Gotham cops? Is that why they have a seemingly limitless supply of police officers to use as cannon fodder? If you’re born in Gotham do you come out a fully-formed police officer (unless you’re going to be a Bat-villain)?
Barbara drags Jim to a church where she puts on an ugly wedding dress and has very bad hair. She says Jim asked her to marry him. I don’t seem to remember that? I remember they were living together but..engaged? Really? Somehow she has also managed to abduct Leslie, who is now stuck as part of this fuckery.
Lucky for Jim, Harvey has watched a lot of X-Files as he utilizes Mulder’s “listening to the tape, rewinding the tape, listening to the tape again” trick to discern where Jim has been taken.
The only information that comes out of the Barbara/Jim/Leslie thing is Jim gets the information about where the real mayor is being held. Crazy Barbara is great and I wish she had more to do than just be the Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. I also wish she didn’t get distracted in the middle of threatening everyone by a question about her fucking dress.
Obviously the cops bust in, Barbara runs off and stands by a giant stained glass window which is code for “villain is going through this shit during a fight.” She does. She falls. But she lives! But she probably won’t come back – the writers have no idea what to do with her, which is why she’s been MIA for the last few episodes and when she comes back the only role she has is unhinged love-crazed woman. I’m glad she’s a better character than she was in season one, but I wish they had gone with “Barbara is crazy because she’s always been nuts and she’s finally embracing that part of herself.” Anyone can do crazy ex-girlfriend. Let her be an unhinged maniac because this is Gotham and Gotham is nothing if not a breeding ground for unhinged maniacs.
Meanwhile, Galavan asks Bruce to sell him all his shares of Wayne Enterprises because Wayne Enterprises is so evil even Goldman Sachs is astonished at how corrupt the company is. Blackwater is taking notes on how to one day achieve the level of horrifically corrupt that Wayne Enterprises operates on. Galavan tries to sweeten the deal by offering Bruce an envelope that (he says) contains the name of the man who killed his parents. Bruce, who admitted to Galavan without hesitation that he would like to murder said man, is all “LET ME PRACTICE MY STABBING AND THEN I WILL TAKE THAT NAME!”
I would like to take this moment to quote Rob Bricken:
Ignoring the fact that Galavan seemingly found out in a long weekend what the GCPD hasn’t gotten close to uncovering in over a year—I swear to god, they’d be just as effective if they were all replaced with crash-test dummies…
Right? What the hell, GCPD? As discussed above, everyone in the city is a fucking police officer, not ONE of you could figure this shit out?
When Bruce later asks Alfred he should sell Galavan his shares (since it’ll take him too long to “train”), Alfred says its extortion. He does not point out that Bruce is only 13 and cannot legally enter into any sort of agreement like Galavan is proposing due to his age. He does not tell Bruce that if he wants to sell his shares he needs to notify his lawyers, the executor of his estate, and the person who attends the Wayne Enterprises board meetings in his stead until he comes of age. Bruce then cries, because he realizes none of the adults around him have his best interests at heart and his only friend is a crazy old man who gets off on slapping kids. (Also not mentioned – calling Jim Gordon for advice, which is good because he shouldn’t be involved. But Galavan’s entire purpose of unleashing Barbara is to distract Jim so he doesn’t fuck up the Wayne Enterprises deal. It’s established that Jim doesn’t have any evidence to take Galavan down, Bruce never mentions calling Jim for advice after Galavan offers to buy his company…then how exactly was Jim going to get in the way of Galavan’s plan?)
Side note – Usually I’d be all “awwwwww!” at the Alfred/Bruce hug. Since the Alfred of Gotham is a god damned lunatic, I felt nothing. NOTHING. My heart was a cold and black as the Penguin’s hair after all the gel he uses froze during a snowstorm.
Just as Bruce is about to sign the paperwork for selling his company to Galavan (“Everything looks in order,” says the 13-year-old boy as he looks through a stack of legal documents a team of highly-educated, highly-paid lawyers would want months to read over), Gordon busts in and punches Galavan in the face. Then he arrests him for kidnapping the real mayor. Bruce goes for the papers revealing the name of his parents killer, but they’ve been thrown into the fire. He screams at the fire to tell him who killed his parents, but the fire is all
Hey Bruce – you ever think that instead of trying to get the name out of Galavan by selling your company, maybe you could have had someone steal the envelope from him? If only you knew a thief…
Riddler drives to the forest looking like a Downton Abbey character if it was filmed in 1935. He drives a car with a “RIDL LVR” licesene plate. RIDL. LVR. He buries Tinsel in a shallow grave, he partakes in strange slapstick that involves killing the World’s Dumbest Hunter with a shovel, and then he finds Penguin in a trailer in the middle of the woods. And he only found Penguin because Penguin ate a sandwich he found sitting next to a grave.
And that’s it. That’s Gotham. Yet again, this was another episode that underused Donal Logue. BTW – Donal Logue was on an episode of the X-Files called “Squeeze.” It’s the third episode of the first season and, sadly, I knew that without looking it up BECAUSE THAT IS HOW MANY TIMES I’VE SEEN THAT EPISODE. It’s was one of the best episodes of the first season (and series). He played Scully’s ladder-climbing friend from the Academy.